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Taiwan Research Programme
London School of Economics and Political Science
Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE


Professor Stephan Feuchtwang

Dr Fang-Long Shih

Taiwan and the Peace Process in Northern Ireland: parallels and divergences

With Dr Kerry Brown (Chatham House)

Series:  Regional Comparison: Taiwan and Ireland in Comparative Perspective

Date: Tuesday 25 May 2010, 4pm-6pm

Venue: New Theatre, East Building, London School of Economics (LSE)

Chair: John Scott (LSE and University of Birmingham)


Northern Ireland has been one of the most successful examples of conflict resolution in recent years. Like Aceh, in Indonesia, the involvement of the international community was critical, but so was the commitment of leaders like John Major and Tony Blair. It now looks like Northern Ireland has achieved sustainable peace, and some degree of autonomy. Are there any lessons that can be learned from this case which might be applicable to another long running, but very different conflict: that between Taiwan and Mainland China? Of course, Taiwan's status is markedly different from Northern Ireland's. There are also major differences in the historic roots of these conflicts, and in the current political, social and cultural realities that exist across the straits now. But are there any ideas that come from what happened in the resolution of conflict in Northern Ireland that might be applicable to talking about a long term solution to the conflict between the Mainland and Taiwan, and about what to do about the island's status, and its ultimate identity?

About the Speaker

Dr Kerry Brown is Senior Fellow on the Asia Programme at Chatham House, and Research Associate at the Centre for International Relations at SOAS. He was a diplomat from 1998 to 2005, specialising in China. He graduated from Cambridge University in 1989, with a degree in English and Philosophy, and then studied Chinese, receiving a Ph D in modern Chinese politics and language from Leeds University. He is the author of four books on modern China, including Struggling Giant and Enemies and Friends: The Past, Present and Future of the Communist Party of China. He is currently working on four books: a study of village elections in China, a study of Taiwan, a political biography of Hu Jintao, and a book about where China will stand in 2020.